(Bloomberg) --

The UK’s development finance agency will invest about $200 million in African hydroelectricity projects to boost the continent’s renewable energy portfolio.

British International Investment Plc, formerly CDC Group, will invest into a joint venture between Norway’s Norfund AS and Scatec ASA to deliver about 675 megawatts, its largest backing for water-generated power, the fund said Thursday.

Norfund plans to put in an additional $100 million into the projects over coming years, according to the statement. BII and Norfund hold 49% stake in Scatec’s African hydropower projects.

The joint venture’s pipeline of projects includes the proposed 205 megawatt Ruzizi III plant, which will provide power to Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the 120 megawatt Volobe plant in Madagascar and a 350 megawatt Mpatamanga project in southern Malawi.

“Hydro-power is critical for providing clean base-load and peaking power, especially in landlocked countries in Africa, as the continent’s countries transition away from fossil fuels toward a net-zero future,” said Chris Chijiutomi, BII’s head of infrastructure equity for Africa and Pakistan.

Africa’s electricity access is estimated at 40%, according to the African Development Bank. Providing the continent with power is key to unlocking Africa’s vast economic potential by growing manufacturing capacity and boosting cross-country trade.

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